One Way to do Brisbane

Both Cunard, P&O, and Royal caribbean have ships scheduled to call at a number of Australian ports during their World voyages for 2016.  This second review in my Australian Trilogy covers the port of Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city with a metropolitan area population of about 2 million people.

The city is Queensland’s administrative, commercial, industrial, and cultural centre with the added attraction of the Brisbane River flowing through the heart of the city.

A minor drawback is the fact that the larger cruise ships have to berth at what is known as the ‘Grain Terminal, some 20 – 30 minutes from the city centre…

So my best advice would be to to start your visit near to the city centre, having come up from the berth by whatever transport means is available. (most cruise lines organise a shuttle service)

Anzac Square is pretty central and is sandwiched between Brisbane’s Central Railway Station

…and the General Post Office

Both buildings of course have an architectural value and long history. The general Post Office,  a heritage-listed building, is still in use and serving its original purpose, having been built in 1872.

But Anzac Square is the real site of interest. It is a state memorial to the men and women who participated in overseas armed service and is named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

*****

It’s an area the Australians do particularly well and with my military background I’m always willing to pay my bit of homage at these superb memorials, no matter what Australian city they are sited in.

The centre piece at Anzac Square is the Shrine of Remembrance…

…an 18 column adaptation of the classical Greek temenos (sacred enclosure) and tholos (circular Shrine) with the ‘Eternal Flame of Remembrance‘ burning in a continuously lit central bronze urn…

Twin stone staircases wrap around the Shrine and descend to the level of the Square below. Housed in the base of the Shrine of Remembrance  is the   ‘Shrine of Memories’…

*****

Around the square are many memorials, too many really to name all:  here are but two examples:-

 

To the Vietnam War

…and to those who served in the  Korean, Malay and Borneo wars…

Researching the development of Anzac Square, I discovered that ‘symbolism’ played a great part in it’s creation:-

  • the 18 columns of the Shrine represent the year of peace after World War 1—1918.
  • also symbolizing the year (1918) are the number of stairs leading up to the shrine—19 stairs in the first row and 18 stairs in the second row.
  • the bottle trees commemorate the Queensland Light Horse Regiments, which served in South Africa’s Boer War (1899–1902).
  • the palm trees are Middle East date palms and they represent Australia’s success in the Middle East during both World Wars. Palms are also a biblical symbol of victory.

Moving on from Anzac Square and along Ann Street is King George Square, home to the Petrie Tableau

It commemorates the settlers of Brisbane and is named after Andrew Petrie, who was a builder and Australian pioneer.  Petrie and his family were the first free-settlers to move to the area…

 

Buildings of interest also bordering King George Square are the Albert Street Congregational Mission, the spiritual home of Wesley Mission of Brisbane…

and The City Hall

It’s well worth taking a small diversion from here and heading the short distance to King Edward park. There is a steep incline to get to the top but the views are good and on the peak is the ‘Old Windmill Observatory’…

The Old Windmill is a heritage listed building and was built in 1828 by convicts for grinding grains, such as wheat and maize. Prior to having wind-powered sails it was originally powered by treadmill. The treadmill was dismantled in 1842 when the convict settlement was closed.

Time to head for the river; no Brisbane city centre point is far from the river and on the way we passed Queen’s Park…

…dominated by the former colonial  Lands Administration Building, with its statues of Queen Victoria and Thomas Joseph Ryan – a labour politician and former premier of Queensland who supported the Irish revolution and opposed conscription during World War 1.

Yards further along William Street, and in view of the Brisbane River is  the Conrad Treasury Casino. The casino and hotel occupies  one of Australia’s grandest heritage buildings, the Treasury Building…

 

…while just across the road in the direction of the river, bordering William Street and Queen’s Wharf Road is the Commissariat Store...

*****

Another heritage listed building,  the Commissariat Store is one of only two surviving buildings from the convict period in Queensland. It is one of only four surviving commissariat buildings in Australia.

The Commissariat Store was originally built by convict labour as a permanent Commissariat Store for the Morton Bay Penal Settlement. Presently, the restored and renovated building operates as the headquarters for the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, housing the museum and the Welsby Library.

 

Further along William Street is the Queensland Parliament

…and an entrance into the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

In the grounds can be found Old Government House...

Old Government House was the hub of colonial life in the early days of Brisbane. Constructed between 1860 and 1862, shortly after Queensland achieved separation from New South Wales, the House was Queensland’s first public building.

In 2002, the Queensland University of Technology accepted custodial responsibility for the House and undertook a lengthy restoration project.  The House was reopened to the public in June 2009 as an historic house museum and an elegant venue which is available to hire for private functions.

No review by Solent Richard would be complete without a mention of food.
A riverside path leads from the Botanic Gardens to an area known as ‘City Reach Boardwalk’…
..an area brimming with bars, cafes and restaurants, one of which particularly caught our eye, George’s Paragon Seafood restaurant

We secured a balcony table…

…with what proved to be an outstanding view of Brisbane’s famous Story Bridge and water borne traffic…

But what about the meal?

First up a seafood starter for each of us…

*****

Followed by two helpings of the local speciality, Moreton Bay Bugs…

Mission accomplished and time to move on.

A quick check-out of St Stephen’s cathedral…

St Stephen’s is the heritage-listed ‘Gothic Revival’ cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane – and seat of its archbishop.

We then  crossed the river to the South Bank Parkland, via the Kurilpa pedestrian bridge...

 

The parkland is on the transformed site of Brisbane’s World Expo 88 and consists of a mixture of rainforest, water, grassed areas and plazas as well as features such as the riverfront promenade, a ‘Street Beach’, the Grand Arbour, the Courier Mail Piazza and The Wheel of Brisbane…

It’s a really buzzy place which often hosts outdoor cultural shows. I guess we were lucky that day…

Even luckier being close to the front and catching that Polynesian wiggle…

Continuing along the river we came across a real gem for naval buffs like ourselves, The Maritime Museum…

Frankly, yours truly could have spent all day here…

Nothing like a ship visit now and again, The Galley…

The Engine room…

…with a final check-out underneath…

That just about concludes this review except to say firstly that there is an excellent river ferry service that will very reasonably give the visitor an insight into Brisbane from the water. The homes…

*****

The regeneration…

*****

…not to mention the fun water traffic…

…and spotting those other intrepid explorers on the Story Bridge…

Add to all that what one noticed as one moved around the streets, The colonial architecture…

*****

*****

 

…not to mention the street life…

*****

*****

Hello, how ya doing sport…

 

 

 

And where else will you find a Banyan Tree in the centre of a city…

 

Brisbane should be on every cruisers bucket list.  It  has so much to offer as a  destination port. It is a shame that the larger ships are required to berth so far away but that really is a minor niggle and but a small price to pay for great day out.

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8 responses to “One Way to do Brisbane

  1. Pingback: Cruising Mates | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

  2. Thanks for this really interesting report on Brisbane, enjoyed it a lot. It will be very useful for us in November when we’ll be visiting Australia & New Zealand.
    How on earth do you get your pictures without people wandering in front of you with iPads! Always happens to me wherever I am.

    • Fred, not always easy and patience is not one of my best attributes. Didn’t you spot the guy outside the restaurant and the students sat around the old Govenor’s House?

  3. Thanks. All packed up leaving tomorrow for the QM2 world cruise visiting Brisbane in March. I love researching ports and we like to do our own thing in depth. This gives more info than I had in my notes so will use your tips when planning our walkabout.

  4. I live in Brisbane and I’d recommend that visitors immediately jump on the first City Cat ferry they see and do the round trip from wherever they got on. A couple of hours but you get to see the city as the Brisbane River snakes it’s way to the sea. The windmill is our oldest building also.

  5. Pingback: One Way to do Brisbane | Eby Online Business·

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